“It’s not serving you well.”

… Those were the words of my functional medicine practitioner recently. Let me elaborate.

On my first visit with this woman, we talked about my health {and my life} from top to bottom. As in, she spent 90 whole minutes questioning me about everything from my time in the womb to that day in her office, and everything in between. First of all, 90 whole minutes with a healthcare provider is a rarity in our society. Peeling back the layers, connecting the dots, and working to assess root causes in our health takes time, but it is so so worth it. I could go on in depth about why this in and of itself sets this visit apart from any other doctor appointment I’ve ever had, but I’m going to save that soap box for another day.

Some of this appointment was familiar to other checkups, such as being asked to “say ah.” But what followed that was highly unexpected. As my tongue is extended from my mouth and I’m saying “ah”, here’s how things unfolded:

Dr: “That makes sense.”
Me: “What makes sense?”
Dr: “Do it again.” {meaning, say ah}
Me: “Ahhhh”
Dr: {speaking to my husband in the room} “See that? How her tongue curves to right?”
Husband: “yea.”
Dr: “She’s a perfectionist. OCD. Likes lots of order. A planner. Always has lots of lists, yes?”
Me: “You can tell all that by my tongue?!?”
Dr: “Yes. Your right brain tends to override your left, and it shows. Those traits are probably things you pride yourself on and get lots of complements on, but it’s not serving you well. You would benefit from more creative outlet. More still and quiet. More relaxing activities and telling your to-do list to go take a hike more often.”

Uhhhh… At that point I was pretty well speechless {which isn’t common for me}. I told her how I do like art and other creative activities, I enjoy yoga and meditation and nature walks and whatnot, but often those things I *like* to do get pushed to the back burner due to things I *need* to do. She told me that by continually behaving this way, it was negatively impacting my health. Talk about a humbling moment.

Here’s the thing. I know that I have a tendency to take on too much or set ridiculously high standards for myself. I know that most of my stress is self imposed and I know that I am in control of all these things. But hearing my doctor tell me that I was negatively impacting my health by these habits — that hit home. And it flipped a switch. I hadn’t been seeking for someone to give me an order to slow down, but looking back on the situation, I think that is exactly what I needed. I had heard comments like “how do you do it all?”, “how do you keep up?”, “do you ever sleep?” often. Or the poking fun of friends and family telling me to “just chill”, “not everything has to be perfect all the time”, or joking about my OCD tendencies. Those were things I was used to, and they didn’t really affect me much. But hearing it from my doctor’s perspective? That changed things.

I have spent the weeks that followed making adjustments and embracing less in favor of more. Less checklists and self-set expectations. More coloring and unplugging. Less stress and perfection. More messes and laughter. Less “I have to…” and more “because I want to”. I’ve been saying no to the things that don’t spark joy and yes to the ones that do. I followed up with my doctor three weeks later and she commented on how much more relaxed and less tense I seemed. One morning at breakfast I said to Jason, “these floors need mopped, but I don’t want to, so I’m not going to.” He looked at me like I had three heads and began laughing as he said “who are you?!”

Life is all about self discovery. About loving yourself. About caring for yourself and your health in the best ways possible. And sometimes, that means hearing some tough love, stepping back, and re-focusing on some of the basics. I aim to always be transparent with you guys. I share my personal struggles and my journey because I want you to understand that I am not perfect either. I encourage my clients to strive for progress, not perfection. And I needed to take my own advice. Perfection is overrated. And it’s not serving us well.

10 thoughts on ““It’s not serving you well.””

    1. Thanks, Jessica! I love when personal experiences can serve as gentle nudges and reminders that others can benefit from too 🙂

    1. So glad you liked it, Missy! We all need a good reminder now and then to slow things down and get back to the basics <3

  1. Thanks for this great blog, Jordan! I think you have pretty much described every high-achieving entrepreneurial woman. Years ago I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue and that was my wake up call. Every day it’s still a struggle to do less, but I’m a work in progress and love the challenge.

    1. Thank you for sharing your personal experience! I’m glad you are finding your balance. I completely agree with you, always a work in progress. 🙂

  2. Such an interesting story! I’m sure we all ran to the mirror to check our tongues! LOL! (Mine’s dead center, wonder what that means. haha)

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